Pluto’s Crafty Anti-Intellectualism

Public Private Confusion, And Other Deliberate Craziness

The rise of plutocracy is stealthy. It rests in great part on having bought the economists serving in the influential “private” universities. Those economists were selected, during their graduate studies, to see only what would please the wealthy sponsors of said universities.

Thus, for example, the economist unlearned the fundamental reason for the existence of taxation: prevent the rise  of an all-consuming oligarchic plutocracy (that is having a few reigning satanically on We The People).

Krugman still does not get it (although he is trying, and pointing out, justly so, that “Paradigming Is Hard”):

“we have a body of economic theory built around the assumptions of perfectly rational behavior and perfectly functioning markets. Any economist with a grain of sense — which is to say, maybe half the profession? — knows that this is very much an abstraction…”

It’s not just an abstraction, it’s an error. What is the Genus Homo? Ms. And Mr. Market? What is the main motivation of the genus Homo? Perfect reason? Perfectly functioning markets?

No. For reminder, the genus Homo is the world’s top predator, in the process of killing the entire biosphere (by acidifying the phytoplankton, the main source of oxygen). Is that perfectly reasonable? Is that perfectly functioning? A market?

What have the economists been doing? Building little fables that completely neglect the real nature of man, while claiming they can predict the behavior of man (that is what, after all, economics claim to do, with consummate modesty).  Greenspan and similar characters of with a very low product of intelligence  and  morality, told us, over decades that all we needed was the intelligence of the markets.

But what are markets? Crowds. Tribes. What are tribes for? Ask Putin, he knows. War. Economists have hidden that breast that they could not possibly see. (Nota bene for the clueless: allusion to Moliere’s Tartuffe).

Their colossal, deliberate, venal naivety has led economists to oversee what was bound to happen: as the hyper rich reached a critical mass, their influence got so great that they have been able to dismantle the democracy that is in their way.

How? By reducing the taxes that prevented the hyper wealthy to go exponential (as Thomas Piketty noticed).

But also the hyper wealthy, through their purchase of politicians, established various confusions and legislation that served them well.

Any attempt to justify mass or individual behavior in humans, without pondering the Dark Side, makes one an accomplice of said Dark Side. I agree it’s hard to be hard when pondering the abyss, increasingly down below.

Many individuals from the far right and vampires from the plutocracy delve in convenient confusions between what is public and what is private. They make elaborate theories to exploit the public thing for their own private pursuits, but they hate the reciprocal.

For this system of exploitation covered up by denial to keep on going, they manage it with colossal anti-intellectualism. This way, they don’t have to answer questions, that, by playing the roles of stupid brutes, they could not possibly understand, let alone answer.

This sustainable parasitism is not just found with ranching and mining, but all over the large corporations, and especially in the so called financial industry. Private banks are little more than public institutions managed privately to benefit the few, always ready to be rescued by the public, in those cases when the transfer of property from We The People to the hyper rich suffers some sudden mishap.

The far right and the plutocrats are surrounded by an enormous cloud of hanger-ons, supporters, servants, plutophiles, and hired guns. That army of the mediocre is dedicated to the triumph of lies and the unreal. As they are, fundamentally, brutes, and admirers of brutality, they will never, ever, surrender to reason.

Quite the opposite. Anything outrageous denying reason, is experienced by the party of Pluto as a victory. Surrendering to reason would be like denying their entire strategy in life, which is centered on the neurohormones of predation, and of others suffering.

The rise of externalities in economic activities, such as mercury poisoning of the oceans, and the rising acidity, are not necessarily perceived by those who govern us as major inconveniences, but, in their universe of the inversion of all values, as major assets. This is the crux that all of economics, not to speak of sociology, has neglected.

This goes beyond Marx. It’s Marx, rolled over by tanks.

Patrice Aymé


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25 Responses to “Pluto’s Crafty Anti-Intellectualism”

  1. Alan Tarica Says:

    Subject: “Paradigming” Fun

    I thought you would enjoy my original adaptation of Shakespeare’s Sonnets.
    It is a Google site and thus I’m sure as you know it is safe link.

    Perhaps this testimonial from the Vermont Poetry Newsletter will help:

    For the love of Shakespeare, you’ve just got to visit Alan Tarica’s web site, which deals with the poetic history (and more!) of Shakespeare’s sonnets.

    Or this testimonial/challenge from the The Canadian will help:

    “I hope that readers and skeptics will consider this a challenge and respond.”
    Alan Tarica

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Alan:

      Thanks Alan. Very interesting. I wish I had more time for poetry, whether reading, or tying to write it. I consider poetical thinking an extremely important way of thinking. Or, I should rather say, that all and any creative thinking has to use, peu ou prou, the poetical method. Even in mathematics, or logic.


  2. Alexi Helligar Says:

    Plutocracy is cancer in the social body and the only safe level of cancer is zero cancer. The antidote to plutocracy is not fawning admiration, but heavy taxation.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      The approach with some cancers, now, increasingly is NOT to treat them, except in the gentlest manner. (!!!) This is true for some prostate cancers, and is now proposed for some breast cancers…

      To try to eradicate all and any plutocracy would not be smart, as small Plutos would band together, right away. Instead, one should first localize the largest targets by a massive worldwide cadaster. Thomas Piketty proposes this in his book.

  3. Benign Says:

    This all very poetical, but the question is whether Plutocracy is adaptive, if we’re going to be scientific. I could waste a lot of time building a mathematical model that “proves” that the meek will ultimately inherit the Earth (starting point is the lower reproduction rate of rich people, perhaps, but with some epigenetical maladaptation thrown in) but I don’t want to take time away from writing poetry, which I’m sure is highly adaptive.

    One of my posts slamming the Plutos made it to the big time, see:

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Benign: Congratulations for being on Zerohedge. I wasted half an hour trying to comment your interesting article there. Didn’t work. Can’t figure out if they banned me, or what (I am banned all over the Internet, from Yahoo to Daily Kois, Huffington, etc.).

      I do agree that USA plutocracy is the Meistersinger of the world plutocracy, and has been, for more than a century. That’s one of my central themes. So, as far as you support that general idea, I support you.

      However, I attach great importance to not saying things that are either false, or probably false. But for the occasional poetical thrill.

      You say in the zerohedge piece:
      ” Washington has apparently fomented or supported a coup in the Ukraine that increases the likelihood of war in Europe dramatically therefore sending the gigantic pools of liquid financial assets in the world scurrying into the greenback and US Treasuries, which the Chinese have stopped gobbling up;
      •the other factor is that the military-industrial complex needs war to get its funding, and when drone-bombing rag-heads can’t provoke a serious attack, destabilizing a former Eastern bloc nation and provoking a somewhat justifiably paranoid Russian leader into military action guarantees at least a shot in the arm of crisis funding.
      Russia has repeatedly stated over the past decades that an EU move on the Ukraine crosses a red line. The EU ignored the warning…”

      So how do you explain that the Yanukovitch government negotiated the association accord with the European Union? That took years. Not only Yanukovitch was Putin’s pawn (having dismantled the Ukrainian army, as ordered), but Putin approved of it. I was listening to Putin like yesterday, talking to the German Parliament, a few years back, and being very clear with all this (he talks perfect German).

      Putin decided to yank his approval of the EU association treaty in November, and proposed 15 billions (dollars) instead.

      You also call the impeachment of Yanukovitch a “coup”. It’s about as clever as calling Nixon’s resignation a “coup”. The impeachment was perfectly legal, and made possible by the “Party of the Regions” turning against its own leader. A presidential election is coming in 3 weeks, if Putin allows it. Or do you call that a “coup”, too?

      I remind you that, after Nixon was, de facto, impeached, the USA had NO ELECTED PRESIDENT, FOR YEARS.

      I do not see the interest there is to call Putin “justifiably paranoid“. He actually risks a world war, and that’s him alone. Even Sweden has started to do what it did not do when Hitler was preparing its own world war. Think about that.

      To have people admitting they are from Russian Special Forces, flaunting, on TV, officers they have tortured, tied up and gagged with garbage bags, bleeding, with numerous cigarettes burns in full evidence, and find all this “justifiably paranoid” is wa-wa land.

      • Paul Handover Says:

        Patrice, sorry to be a little dim but please offer the background to you saying, “I remind you that, after Nixon was, de facto, impeached, the USA had NO ELECTED PRESIDENT, FOR YEARS.”

  4. EugenR Says:

    I would like to share with you my thought about the major defaults of the economic system called “Market economy” or “Capitalism”, or in the language of this blog, the moral deficiency of the system run by Plutocracy. The major problem of the contemporary economic system on the macro level is that it enabled on one hand to pour into the economy too much financial liquidity at times of boom and overheated economy, by investing too much money in wrong and too expensive assets, and on the other hand at times of bust, when the economy needs liquidity to sustain employment, the system is rather greedy with helping investments in the same assets for even very reduced price. This system a-priory has to cause bust and boom, situations.
    The economist since the great depression of 1929-1933 which had disastrous consequences learned from the lesson, and since then the governments and the central banks took as their major task in economy (and be the price whatever it takes), to act as anti bust and boom instrument. This is why they made the economic stimulus of trillions that saved the banks and financial system from total collapse (luckily the collapse came during the time of republican presidency and they couldn’t resist this decision), and the quantitative easing that poured liquidity of government money into the economy as alternative to the private money from banks who stopped to borrow.
    So if it is so easy to solve the economic crisis situations, what is the problem? Let the economy run on the waves of bust and boom, and whenever the bust comes the government interferes, and at the times of booms let the boys play and enjoy themselves. If economics would be only about mathematical formulas, probably it could work, but the truth is all the economic decisions have their moral-political aspects. And here lies the problem. Because it is morally and politically very hard to neglect the principle of punish those who do wrong and give tribute to those who has done good. And this is actually what happens when the government comes to rescue the “credit boomers”, the bankers who created a distorted financial system, that channeled the financial and material resources to wrong places to invest in wrong assets, and when the D day came, they did not have to pay the price for their wrong doings. The same happened to those who took the loans, without to ask themselves if and when are they going to pay them back. These Financiers and their creditors, who get loans of other peoples’ money enjoy free lunch twice. Once when they give and get these loans with knowledge that it will never be repaid, and second time when they enjoy the debt reduction, when the governments come to rescue them.
    On the other hand those who use the wealth generated at times of boom to accumulate reserves for the bad times have to pay twice. First time when they restrain their activities during the times of prosperity and reduce by it their profits, second time at times of bust, when still they have to fulfill all their obligations, and get no praise for their responsible behavior in the times of boom.
    Of course this system of Boom and Bust causes with each wave a major shift of wealth from one sector to the other, and generally from the decent and responsible entrepreneurs to the irresponsible gamblers, who happen to make bid on other people’s money.
    This is one of the reasons why the pension systems are all in deficit, the wages stagnate while the profits and mainly the rewards of corporate managers of publicly traded companies surge.
    Isn’t this just unfair?

  5. Benign Says:

    Okay. If you heard the Nuland audio it was pretty clear the CIA was in there fomenting, whether the outcome was technically legal or not. Apparently ~600 Muslim Brotherhood folks are going to be executed in Egypt entirely legally too. What makes the Ukraine situation murky is that so much clearly illegal action has taken place by both sides. The events in the Maidan leading up to Yanukovich’s ouster certainly included lots of illegality and more lethal violence than has been seen in the east yet. In any event the more violent bigots are becoming aroused on both sides as the panic builds.

    So, regardless of why Y did what he did I see it primarily as a civil war. The Russians are in there, Crimeans are in there, the Orthodox Russian nationalists are coming out of the woodwork. I don’t know the details or the history well, but it’s clearly a civil war now. I bet Putin does not invade, just lets the West trash the place like they did Russia after the SU fell. If you think the IMF went into Russia with their ridiculous “free market shock therapy” with innocent intentions I suggest you think again. There was looting, and the Russian people were punished by having their way of life–their social contract–destroyed. Life expectancy and many other critical health indicators plummeted. Putin is justifiable paranoid, though I understand there are far deeper Russian roots for this distrust of the West.

    Your analogies to American history are way off the mark. Nixon resigned because he still had a shred of decency in his dark soul. When Kennedy stole the 1960 election Nixon refused to challenge because he thought the damage to the country would be too great (contrast Gore–and look at the damage his challenge did to the credibility of the Supreme Court).

    I will fill you in on a secret. My operating theory is that Anglo-America is following the general historical narrative laid out brilliantly in the mid-1990s in a book called “The Fourth Turning.” It’s a generational theory of history. We are in the Crisis generation which will reach its crescendo in about 2020 (80-year saeculum, last crisis in 1940, we in about 1934 by analogy). The Crisis causes a complete breakdown of the American social fabric. That’s where we’re going, and it is Greed and Hardheartedness that lubricate the slide, from the Plutocrats all the way down to the Republican-voting, immigrant-hating peons.


  6. Paul Handover Says:

    Wow, some meaty material on here!

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Always ready to serve, Paul! I think too high an opinion of man, especially our psychopathic leaders (psycho by selection!), has been the default in the armor of civilization.

      BTW, I hope you re-read by Neanderthal Superiority essay: I was very careful to put there in the latest facts, and it was much more up to date that the link you gave that was so much decades old (Neanderthals couldn’t talk, it claimed, etc.).

      The racism against Neanderthals is part of a will-to-racism-&-tribalism all too many still worship. You know the old us versus them mentality…

      • Paul Handover Says:

        Yes I did read it and have a note to myself to update the material over on Learning from Dogs asap. Thank you!

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          You are welcome, Paul. And I am flattered. Indeed, I try really hard to use the latest facts, plausible, and, or well established. I see you published something of common interest extracted from here on Learning From Dogs, and will rush there ASAP! Time, as you can guess, is in short supply…

          • Paul Handover Says:

            And when you do have a little spare time please send it this way!

            Seriously though, wouldn’t mind your thoughts to my response earlier on. This one: Patrice, sorry to be a little dim but please offer the background to you saying, “I remind you that, after Nixon was, de facto, impeached, the USA had NO ELECTED PRESIDENT, FOR YEARS.”

  7. I just want to throw up! | Learning from Dogs Says:

    […] On to another of Patrice’s essays.  Or more specifically to a comment left by Eugen to a post from Patrice published yesterday. […]

  8. Martin Lack Says:

    I finally got to watch ‘Elysium’ on DVD recently. Horrifyingly close to reality in all but one respect: Humanity will probably not retain the technological ability to build Elysium long enough to construct it.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Martin: I saw Elysium in a movie theater (rare for me). I extracted an essay from it:

      Elysium: It’s all too much like the nightmare I have seen unfold in recent years in the USA. The early years of my friend Obama’s administration were such a nightmare. To some extent, I now got used to live in denial, and got habituated…

      The point you make has a good probability to be true. An excellent point. Especially the way the really high tech is not developed, nowadays.

      • Martin Lack Says:

        Thanks Patrice. The DVD had some excellent behind the scenes extras, including an interview with the ‘designer’ of the Elysium torus – who went to great lengths to design something that could be built with existing technology.

        However, the film is set in 2054 and I very much doubt that – even if resources were infinite and the plutocrats started building it now – such a huge thing could be built in 40 years!

        A useful comparison is the sending of humans to Mars – in a single spacecraft that will be part assembled in orbit – which NASA is actively working towards doing within 20 years!

  9. Martin Lack Says:

    I think two quotes sum up all that has been said above:
    1. Nicholas Stern has described accelerating anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD) as “…the greatest market failure in history”; and
    2. Clive Hamilton has described it as “…a failure of modern politics”.

    With regard to (1), market economics has failed to prevent ACD because most economists mistook Nature’s capital for a source of income and ignored the reality that any business that uses its capital as a source of income will be bankrupted (E.F. Schumacher)

    With regard to (2), politicians have failed to prevent ACD because there is nothing to be gained for them personally by trying to. The tragedy of the commons (Hardin) has resulted in 25 years of blame-shifting and demands that someone else act first.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      ACD may also be an excellent catastrophe, mother of all catastrophes. I do believe that Homo has a self destructive side having to do with the ecology. A creative destruction (a Schumpeter situation gone cosmic).

  10. Patrice Ayme Says:

    Paul: The VP of Nixon, Spiro Agnew, was impeached for corruption (and condemned later). Nixon then NOMINATED Gerald Ford, a Congressman, Vice-President of the USA.

    Later Nixon was impeached (technically he resigned). Ford became president, UNELECTED, for 3 years.

    In Ukraine the Parliament impeached the president (who had fled to Russia, as his corruption became manifest, and parliament was going to impeached him). Parliament then elected the interim president. Dictator Putin does not want the Ukrainian presidential election of May 25.

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